The first scientific peer-reviewed paper coming from research by the Black Eagle Project has been released. Here's what its all about:
To biologists’ surprise, an eagle population living in a South African landscape dominated by agriculture appears to be thriving, according to a new paper in The Condor: Ornithological Applications—even out-performing their neighbours in undeveloped mountain habitat.
Verreaux’s Eagles (Aquila verreauxii), an apex predator in southern Africa, are in decline, and Megan Murgatroyd of the University of Cape Town and her colleagues wanted to determine if habitat loss due to intensifying agriculture could be the culprit. Instead, when they compared the breeding productivity of eagles in South Africa’s heavily farmed Sandveld region to that of the smaller population of eagles in the nearby Cederberg Mountains, they found that the Sandveld population’s breeding success was actually the highest of any Verreaux’s Eagle population ever studied.